Black hole

Johanna Reich &

The stark whiteness of snow contrasts with the utter blackness of the rural landscape. A ladder leaning against a hut, an ivy-covered fence and some sparse winter vegetation seem to be cut-out pieces glued on the sheet of snowy whiteness. An aerial view by the camera further flattens the image, rendering a figure walking out of the hut as a bold black intrusion into the purity of snow.

The person kneels down and starts cleaning up the snow. As the spot of bare ground grows wider, comes the moment of magical transformation: the body that has just disturbed the viewer's attention with its sharp contrast against the snow suddenly melts into the blackness of the earth. The viewer can no longer differentiate the shape of the body. Only the rhythmic sounds of somebody's quiet breathing suggest that the black hole indeed contains a living creature. As the viewer stares into the black hole, the ambiguity of the transformation becomes disturbing. It can be interpreted as a metaphor for people ceasing to be alien elements, achieving instead a benign unity with nature. However, it can also speak of the annihilation of our subjectivity and our failure to establish healthy ties with nature, which has all the power to devour humankind, to transform it into a meaningless black hole. (Olena Chervonik)

About the video

Title Black hole
Year 2009
Videonale VIDEONALE.13
Length 00:02:00
Format 4:3
Country Germany,
Language No dialog
Courtesy the artist
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artist

Johanna Reich
  • 1977 in Minden, GER.
    Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Muenster, GER, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, GER, at the Universitat de Barcelona, ESP, and at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, GER